Articles on ecosystems

  1. Environment

    Life on Earth is mostly green

    A new survey of life on Earth finds that plants and microbes dominate. But even though humans are in the minority, they still play a major role.

  2. Climate

    Disappearing sea ice could disrupt Arctic’s food web

    When sea ice goes missing in the Arctic, every part of the ecosystem feels the effects.

  3. Animals

    Animal graveyard found in deeply buried Antarctic lake

    Mud from Antarctica’s Lake Mercer surprised scientists with what appeared to be the carcasses of tiny animals. A neighboring lake had only microbes.

  4. Ecosystems

    Scientists Say: Niche

    An organism’s niche is the role it fills in the community it lives in.

  5. Plants

    Rare-plant hunters race against time to save at-risk species

    One in five plants is at risk of extinction. Meet the rare plant hunters who rappel down cliffs and trek through forests to save them.

  6. Ecosystems

    Mosquito repellent could pose risks to baby salamanders

    Two ingredients in bug repellant — DEET and picaridin — can end up in streams. There, they may hurt salamanders but leave mosquitoes alone, a study finds.

  7. Ecosystems

    Welcome to the Arctic’s all-night undersea party

    Life teems in the frozen darkness of the Arctic night. But as the ice recedes and people move in, their light pollution may disturb the animals living there.

  8. Environment

    Microplastics take flight in the bellies of mosquitoes

    In polluted water, mosquito larvae may eat microplastic — and it will stay in their bodies as they grow. That might pose risks to skeeter-eating birds.

  9. Ecosystems

    Scientists Say: Understory

    A forest isn’t made just out of the tallest trees. Shorter trees and shrubs thrive in their shade. This layer is called the understory.

  10. Environment

    Don’t flush your contact lenses

    One in five people who wear contact lenses flush their used eyewear down the sink or toilet. That plastic pollutes the environment and can harm wildlife.

  11. Oceans

    New tools aim to better predict blooms of toxic algae

    Scientists across the United States are developing programs that can predict when blooms of toxic algal may occur.

  12. Ecosystems

    Surprise! Fire can help some forests keep more of their water

    In California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, a century of fire suppression has led to forests with too many trees. But areas thinned by fire now show one benefit: more water.